I’ve had enough of Gov. Kristi Noem’s so-called “Pierre Report” in the Press & Dakotan. Under the publisher’s policy, subscribers who want to express political views in an election season must buy an advertisement. But you are giving Noem a regular podium to spew extremist propaganda. Take, for example, her July 14 column about the taxpayer-funded Trump-Noem show at Mount Rushmore.
Like her horse-mounted appearance at the bull-riding show in Sioux Falls, neither the Rushmore event nor the editorial had anything to do with state government. And neither mass event required health protections for the public, since Noem’s mantra is that in South Dakota we embrace the freedom to endanger our neighbors with COVID-19.
The most remarkable thing about Noem’s column is how divorced from reality it is. It was President Trump’s “best ever speech,” she said. “It was unifying and focused on his dedication to the things that make America the greatest country in the world.” Unifying? Anything but.
Attempting to exploit racial and social divisions, Trump claimed that the “liberals” who protest racism and all-too-frequent instances of police violence are out to “demolish both justice and society” and “turn our free society into a place of repression, domination and exclusion.” Perhaps Trump’s most venomous claim was that “children are taught in school to hate their own country.” And Noem found that radical rhetoric “unifying!”
Noem is happy to echo Trump’s ugly divisiveness. As one of his true disciples, she added her own “unifying” drivel: She denounced the national movement to face historic racism and to reform unacceptable police behavior as “an attempt to cancel our own freedoms.” I don’t know anybody who wants to cancel our freedoms. But please don’t subject your readers to more of the governor’s ludicrous political swagger.